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Point of Origin (1998)

by Patricia Cornwell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kay Scarpetta (9)

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5,348391,977 (3.56)25
Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:The clues to a series of remorseless killings go up in smokeâ??and only Kay Scarpetta can find them in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Patricia Cornwell.

â??Sears its way into the psycheâ?¦Ablaze with Cornwellâ??s finest, scariest writing.â?ťâ??Atlanta Journal Constitution

The devastating fire tore through the horse farm, destroying everything it touched. Picking through the wreckage, Dr. Kay Scarpetta uncovers human remainsâ??the work of an audacious and wily killer who uses fire to mask his brutal murders. And when Scarpetta learns that her old nemesis, Carrie Grethen, has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is somehow involved, the investigation becomes personal. Tragedy strikes close to home. And Scarpetta must match Grethenâ??s every move with one of her own to douse the inferno of evil that threatens everyone around her...

Includes an Introdu
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English (31)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Scarpetta used to be one of my favourite series. However, the books became increasingly formulaic and patchy. After rushing to buy each new one for many years, I haven't read anything by Cornwell in at least a decade. This one turned up in my street library, so I thought I'd give it a go. Yeah, nah. Too many loose ends and unexplained elements, and the end of the book was rushed, and rather contrived. The escaped colt that received such big buildup was forgotten. I mean, a bunch of horses die in this fire, but one survives, why?????? Who knows - it's never explained.
Killing off Benton was unnecessary and added nothing to the story arc - and resurrecting him in the next book (which I found I had read out of order) is just silly. Habit only lasts so long before it becomes a form of compulsion. Since I'm not a compulsive person, Cornwell, I fear, has lost me. ( )
  Jawin | Feb 18, 2024 |
Very good mystery of arson used by an old enemy to wreak revenge. Ending was a little too tidy and the story lacked any narrative from the point of view of the antagonist.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia returns for her ninth outing, As the novel opens, she receives a letter from Carrie Grethen, a psychopathic killer who has appeared in several previous books, and who has appointed herself arch nemesis for Kay, her niece Lucy, and crime fighting associates Benton Wesley (formerly the suave, head profiler for the FBI and now established as Kay’s Lover) and ultra rough diamond Police Captain, Pete Marino. Grethen is in custody, undergoing psychiatric assessment while awaiting trial for multiple killings. The letter is far from lucid, but within its frantic scrawl Kay perceives an urgent if undefined threat.

Meanwhile, Kay and Marino are summoned to the site of a gruesome arson attack which has levelled the capacious house and stables of a prominent and immensely wealthy businessman, with whom they have crossed swords before. In addition to the string of horses housed at the property, a human body is found, prompting a federal, cross-agency investigation. The owner of the property is an African American, and racial motives for the attack are suspected.

This novel was slightly less frenetic that some of its predecessors had been, although Kay Scarpetta remains on the cusp pf paranoia. Her niece Lucy is slightly less objectional that in some of the recent books, too, which certainly came as a relief.

The plot is soundly developed, and while by this stage of her writing career Cornwell seemed happy to leave no cliché knowingly overlooked, the story moves along briskly. It still seemed a long way from the string of excellent books that launched the series, such as Postmortem, All That Remains, and Body of Evidence. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Jan 19, 2024 |
Patricia Cornwell is the master of suspense and she delivers another helping in Point of Origin. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia is back and faced with an evil from her past. In collaboration with her niece Lucy, Detective Pete Marino, and Profiler Benton Wesley, Scarpetta takes on the case of a deadly fire that turns into a plot even more sinister. Well written as always, Patricia Cornwell has delivered another thrilling tale of murder,deceit and mystery. Another page turner in the Kay Scarpetta series! ( )
  b00kdarling87 | Jan 7, 2024 |
You can't put "Point of Origin" down. The devil is in the details, and you will come back to this book repeatedly. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia Cornwellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Narbonne, HélèneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it , because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (1 Corinthians 3:13)
Dedication
With love to Barbara Bush (for the difference you make)
First words
Benton Wesley was taking off his running shoes in my kitchen when I ran to him, my heart tripping over fear and hate and remembered horror.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:The clues to a series of remorseless killings go up in smokeâ??and only Kay Scarpetta can find them in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Patricia Cornwell.

â??Sears its way into the psycheâ?¦Ablaze with Cornwellâ??s finest, scariest writing.â?ťâ??Atlanta Journal Constitution

The devastating fire tore through the horse farm, destroying everything it touched. Picking through the wreckage, Dr. Kay Scarpetta uncovers human remainsâ??the work of an audacious and wily killer who uses fire to mask his brutal murders. And when Scarpetta learns that her old nemesis, Carrie Grethen, has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is somehow involved, the investigation becomes personal. Tragedy strikes close to home. And Scarpetta must match Grethenâ??s every move with one of her own to douse the inferno of evil that threatens everyone around her...

Includes an Introdu

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